The museum was initially called The Museum of African Art and Ethnology and was founded in 1985. In 2001, the museum was renamed the Museum of African Heritage, in order to open their doors to a wider audience and begin to fully address the African experience in Guyana. The existing collection includes items on African Art, mostly West African, from the wooden mask to the carved door of secret societies, helping to educate people about the meaning and reasons behind African art traditions. Also in the collection are more practical pieces like the brass weights used for measuring gold dust, drums, musical instruments, games and clothing. More recent donations include a wooden replica of the 1763 Monument.